Every time I get comfortable, I pick up and leave town — here’s why you should, too
According to a 2008 Pew research report, 88 percent of all people live within a couple miles of where they grew up.
The best moves of my life have been when I left familiar and comfortable settings. Comfort is the enemy of the obsessed. To be dangerous, force yourself out of your comfort zone, literally — try a new city.
The first move I made away from my hometown, a small city in southwest Louisiana, was for a new job in Chicago. Then I moved to Houston. It was a good move but not the right one — I moved where I knew people (my brother and two sisters were there), as opposed to where I really wanted to live.
After that I moved to La Jolla, California, where I knew no one. I lived there for twelve years before I found myself too comfortable again. Everyone knew me, but that meant I wasn’t meeting new people and growing anymore. Also, I wanted to find my wife and start a family, and it was clear that this wouldn’t happen for me in the San Diego area.
I packed up and moved to the big city of Los Angeles. Again, I knew no one there. But in LA I found my wife — in fact, I met her the first night I was there. Even though I had no friends there initially, we built up a big network. I continued to build my business and thrive.
Fast-forward to a few years later: I was still successful but feeling that itch of being too comfortable again. So three years ago Elena and I picked up and left all our familiar and comfortable surroundings and moved across country to Miami.
All of these moves proved to be monster personal growth builders for me. They gave me confidence that I can be nimble, succeed anywhere, make friends anywhere, and create my own happiness independent of location.
Surveys suggest that moving is one of the most stressful things a person can do. How sad that we have become people who consider moving stressful. People borrow money to travel for adventure but call it stressful when they need to move for opportunity.
Being the biggest fish in the smallest pond will be the death of your ambitions. That’s one of the reasons I believe that moving out of your hometown and moving often are worthwhile risks. There is no growth in staying where you are. There is no opportunity in comfort. To pursue my goals and continue fulfilling my potential, I have had to remove myself from what I know and what I am comfortable with in search of the unknown. When I do that, I reawaken my obsession with fulfilling my purpose.
And I stay dangerous because no one knows where I’ll be next!